Public sector housebuilding figures stay low

Published:  25 May, 2012

UK: Figures released today by NHBC show that public sector registrations to build new homes in the UK are still below last year's figures.

In February to April 2012 figures were 49% down, compared to the same time last year (5867 from 11 521).

Although overall figures to build new homes in the UK were also down 15% at 26 035 from 30 649, registrations to build new homes in the private sector were up 5% when compared with the same period last year at 20 168 compared to 19 128.

The comparison period is affected by the registration of approximately 2800 London Olympic Village properties, NHBC pointed out.

Taking these units out of the equation, private sector registrations in the UK rose by 14% overall, with almost all the English regions experiencing some growth. However, even excluding the London Olympic Village properties in the 2011 comparative figures, 2012 saw a substantial drop in social housing registrations, consistent with the trend throughout the year to-date.

"The large drop-off in social housing registrations mean that overall volumes have fallen compared with the same period last year,' said Richard Tamayo, the NHBC's commercial director. 

"This reduction in social housing may simply be a hiatus as the industry moves from one funding model to another," he commented.

"Meanwhile, the private sector is likely to continue to be the engine for much-needed growth in overall housing supply. Therefore, monitoring the success of initiatives such as the New Buy scheme and changes to make the planning system more flexible will be key to understanding how the next few years will play out."

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